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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Pending Home Sales-December 2007

The last key statistic for December 2007 was released a couple of days ago. The pending home sales index provides no solace for sellers, indicates no movement by buyers, and totally conforms with the full set of 2007 housing numbers. The standoff continues.

The full December stats can be viewed here, but the quick summary is as follows:
New Homes:
Inventory is 60% above "normal", while new permits, starts, and completions were down 31%-38%. No region of the country escaped such numbers, and in the South, new single family permits were down almost 44%.

New home sales were down 41%, the largest drop since the database began in 1963, while median prices dropped 10.4%, the largest drop since 1970.

Existing Homes:
At 10.7 months' supply, the highest December inventory on record. Sales of existing homes hit a new low for the current cycle, and the largest drop in prices yet.

So What About the Pending Sales Index?
At a level of 85.9 for December, 2007 vs 113.3 a year ago.

Comments by Others on the PHSI
From The Wall Street Journal

From Paper Economy, we are informed that the South was down 27.0% as compared to December 2006. The national average was 24.2%

The Big Picture has a nice graph from the 2005 housing peak to the present.

The outlook...inventories in all regions will have to fall. This will have to be triggered by lower production, more declining prices, and stability in the credit markets before anything approaching normal supply and demand arrives.

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